'Flying taxi' backed by Google co-founder prepares to take flight



Kitty Hawk, backed by Larry Page, developed the aircraft.

The flying car startup backed by Google co-founder Larry Page has unveiled an air taxi, collaborating with the New Zealand government to get it off the ground.

The California-based company Kitty Hawk said they won’t set a timeframe for when citizens can take a ride in Cora, which is being envisioned as part of a service similar to an airline or rideshare. So, don’t get your hopes up about snagging your very own to keep at home.

Kitty Hawk had been testing the air taxi in New Zealand since October. Zephyr Airworks will manage Kitty Hawk’s operations in New Zealand.


Through the partnership, Kitty Hawk will work on gaining additional certification to begin commercial service via Cora.

“With our prototype air taxi Cora, we are applying eight years of research and development into an entirely new way to commute,” said Kitty Hawk CEO Sebastian Thrun in a statement. “We are excited to work with the people of New Zealand to work on this exciting new technology.”

Cora will combine electric power, self-piloting software, and vertical take-off technology similar to a helicopter. According to the company’s website, Cora is designed to fit two people, and operate as high as 3,000 feet off the ground at speeds up to 110 miles per hour.

The air taxi is part of Page’s vision to bring flying cars to reality. Last year, Kitty Hawk unveiled the Flyer, an ultralight aircraft that users can operate without a pilot’s license.

Meanwhile, tech companies and automakers continue to scramble to move self-driving vehicles out of the garage. Last month, Ford confirmed it will test a food delivery service in Miami featuring self-driving cars.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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